Elvis Detector by Toggle Booleans
Elvis Detector Version 1.0 (C) Copyright 1992 TOGGLE BOOLEANS All rights reserved. The TOGGLE BOOLEANS Elvis detector is designed to sense the presence of Elvis or his spirit in your vicinity. It includes some of the most reliable Elvis detection methods gathered from supermarket tabloids over the last several years. If you are running Windows 3.1 [...]
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Elvis Detector

Featured by Søren Pold.

Has Elvis left the building? Is the King still alive? If you think these questions are important this rather old (1992), but still rocking, piece of software art may prove itself handy. The King works in mysterious ways and there are many imitators around, but the Elvis Detector "promises to sense the presence of Elvis or his spirit" and "includes some of the most reliable Elvis detection methods gathered from supermarket tabloids over the last several years". I've had it running for some weeks, and it goes off once in a while - sometimes when I pass by some Elvis related information on the web or when I'm in other ways preoccupied with Elvis. Other times I didn't know I was in any sense touched by the spirit of Elvis, but after observing the alarm, I've often realized that his spirit was in fact somewhere in my vicinity.

When it goes off, its icon in the task bar goes red, and if you're lucky some lines of a classic Elvis song are displayed. When writing this text it goes off constantly, and I just can't help believing that if La Monte Young wrote software art, Elvis was in fact a software critic avant la lettre. Certainly these lines from the mid 1950's are one of the more clear-sighted critical descriptions of software development: "Well it's a one for the money, two for the show, three to get ready, go cat go..." And consider "you ain't nothing but a hound dog" as a statement to software moguls like Bill Gates: "you ain't never caught a rabbit and you ain't no friend of mine".

As a matter of fact, I've become fond of this little fellow on my Windows taskbar. It interrupts my doings and reminds me of old favourites. Besides, it makes me wonder, what it actually does, what determines its behaviour, how it works, if it works at all? In fact, these questions are some of the starting points for a software criticism - especially if I also start asking them to some of the neighbouring software in my task bar, e.g. my meeting scheduler, email client, word processor or messenger. At least the interruptions from the Elvis Detector are some of the nicest and most inspirational compared to the annoying interruptions from much other software.

by admin, posted 14 Nov 2004


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